by Ian Marshall, Editor
Second place in his initial stage group, beaten by Great Britain’s Aaron McKibbin, the no.6 seed (11-7, 9-11, 12-10, 11-6), in the main draw Marc Ledoux progressed from strength to strength.
After accounting for Poland’s Marcin Skrzynecki, the no.2 seed (4-11, 10-12, 11-9, 11-7, 11-4) and Slovakia’s Richard Csejtey, the no.5 seed (12-10, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8), he beat Great Britain’s Billy Shilton, also not seeded (11-9, 4-11, 11-9, 11-7), to secure gold. Notably in the adjacent half of the draw, Billy Shilton had caused a major quarter-final upset by overcoming Sweden’s Emil Andersson, the top seed (4-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-9), prior to ousting colleague, Aaron McKibbin (7-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-9) to reserve his place in the final.
“It has been a great competition for me overall and I’m delighted with a silver medal. The level I have been playing in training is really starting to show and I’m really pleased I am getting the results as well.” Billy Shilton
Disappointment for Aaron McKibbin but he is a seasoned campaigner and was in a philosophical mood, looking forward to the men’s team event where in class 8 he partners Billy Shilton.
“I played very well, continuing the good form from Slovenia. I was happy with how I played up until the semi-final. It is always hard playing a team mate and it felt even stranger in an international. Billy played very well and I’m happy for him although I am personally disappointed as I believe that the way I was playing I could have won this competition. Moving on to the team event we are clearly both in great form so I’m looking forward to it and over the last two singles events I think I’ve put myself in a good position for Tokyo.” Aaron McKibbin
An unexpected outcome, in class 11 there was also a surprise winner but it was no great upset. Hungary’s Peter Palos, the no.2 seed, gold medallist at the London 2012 Paralympic Games beat Belgium’s Lucas Creange (11-5, 11-8, 12-10) to secure the title; Lucas Creange was very much a player in form, in the penultimate round he had ended the hopes of Belgium’s Florian Van Acker, the top seed and Rio de Janeiro gold medallist (11-5, 11-8, 12-10).
Otherwise, in all other men’s singles events it was success for the top seeds.
In class 1-2, Hungary’s Endre Major finished in first place in a group organised event ahead of Russia’s Dmitry Lavrov, the no.3 seed; Switzerland’s Sylvio Keller, the no.2 seed reserved third position.
Third place for the second seed, in all other wheelchair classes, the final witnessed success for the top seed against the player next in the order of merit. Frenchman Fabien Lamirault won class 2 beating Poland’s Rafal Czuper in the final (11-8, 12-10, 9-11, 11-4); in class 3 Germany’s Thomas Schmidberger overcame colleague Thomas Brüchle (12-10, 11-9, 12-14, 11-8) to seal the top prize.
Similarly facing a compatriot Abdullah Ozturk prevailed against Nesim Turan (11-6, 11-6, 11-7) to win class 4; also from Turkey, Ali Ozturk defeated Germany Valentin Baus (11-6, 12-14, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9) to claim class 5 gold.
Meanwhile, in the standing categories, Spain’s Alvaro Valera secured the class 6 title at the expense of Cristian Dettoni (11-3, 11-8, 11-9), the semi-final winner in opposition to Romania’s Bobi Simion, the no.2 seed (12-10, 11-8, 11-13, 11-8). Success for Spain and there was more, Jordi Morales won class 7 beating the host nation’s Maksym Chudzicki in the final (9-11, 11-8, 13-11, 11-9).
Hard earned wins, in class 9 and class 10, success for the top seeds was even harder earned. Belgium’s Laurens Devos emerged the class 9 champion beating Italy’s Mohamed Amine Kalem in the final (11-9, 8-11, 4-11, 11-6, 11-5). Even more testing, in class 10, the host nation’s Patryk Chojnowski recovered from a two games to nil deficit in opposition to the Czech Republic’s Ivan Karabec (9-11, 1-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-6) to reserve the top step of the podium.
Play continues with the team events, proceedings conclude in Wladyslawowo on Saturday 1st June.
2019 Para Polish Open: Latest results and main draws